My eyes and ears perked when I read basil leaves used in deep-fried fish fillet. With lovely pictures and straightforward instructions in Chef Phang Fah's cookbook, it make me wish I could seriously devour the food within! Hence, I picked some home-grown Thai basil leaves from my hometown yard days ago and decided to give it a whirl!
Basil is a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine and also in Southeast Asian cuisines (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos), with a strong, pungent and sweet smell. As opposed to Mediterranean basil (sweet basil) that is commonly used in Italian cuisine, Thai basil have a anise-like flavour, with more assertive and stronger taste. My mum call it 九层塔 (literally "nine-layer-pagoda") in Chinese. To be frank, we have no idea on chinese origins of "basil leaf".
I used basil leaves in its raw state, as it provides the more dominant flavour in the finished dish. But if you find yourself in dire need and without fresh basil, use 1/3 the amount of dried basil substituted for fresh. But do keep in mind that you will never get full flavor when using dried basil.
A white fish such as dory or cod works well because the mild flavour of the meat allows the basil to showcase its attractions, where the addition of basil can leave the dinner spellbound. Or you can use any fish fillet or frozen fish instead.
If you are a basil-fanatic, or just wondering on the flavours that basil leaves will impart, you may want to give the below recipe a try!
1 tbsp shredded ginger 1大匙姜丝
30g Thai sweet basil leaves, shredded 30g九层塔，切成丝
500g fish fillet 500g鱼肉，切成粗条状
1 egg 1粒蛋
1/2 tsp salt 1/2小匙盐
1/2 tbsp shaoxing wine 1/2大匙绍兴酒
Dash of sesame oil and pepper 少许麻油和胡椒粉
1 tbsp corn flour 1大匙粟粉
For Coating : 干粉料
5 tbsp plain flour, mixed with 5 tbsp corn flour 5大匙面粉，加入5大匙粟粉拌匀
5 cups oil for deep-frying 5杯炸油
Method : 做法
2. Coat seasoned fish fillet with flour mixture and deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Dish and drain.
3. Serve hot with Thai chilli sauce.
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